Tutto Crudo: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Apr 2016 | Issue #111
Photo by Diana de Lucia

At Manhattan’s iconic Italian restaurant Felidia, Sicilian-born chef Fortunato Nicotra composes a plate of crudo like a colorful work of art. Thinly sliced raw tuna, branzino and salmon are dotted with julienned raw watermelon radish, cucumber, tomato and carrot. Then the fish is simply dressed in Olio Verde Sicilian olive oil and sea salt. Panna acida (think Italian sour cream) is drizzled across the plate and crispy puffed rice finishes the dish, lending it a nutty crunch. Josh White, head bartender and creator of Felidia’s beer parings menu, suggests three beers for the crudo.

Gose To Hollywood | 3.8% ABV
To Øl
A fisherman’s pairing of the highest distinction. The brininess of this Gose demands to accompany seafood, and the water content of raw vegetables helps to balance the beer’s prominent citrus-driven acidity. Noticeable minerality and a crisp, clean finish make for a harmonious Mediterranean daydream.

Calabaza Blanca | 4.8% ABV
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
The lemongrass and punchy grape notes of this Wild Ale perfectly counter the creamy panna acida that sneaks into every bite. The subtle complexity of coriander and orange also shine through the delicate raw vegetables and puffed rice. Hints of bready yeast and the texture achieved from oak-aging mesh seamlessly with the varying degrees of fattiness in the three varieties of fish.

Red Rice Ale | 7.0% ABV
Hitachino Nest Beer
This beer loves raw food. The mellow earth of the raw radish coasts along with this distinctive ale’s bright strawberry notes. Meanwhile, the malt character of the rice keeps this beer light on the palate allowing each hit of acidity in the dish to linger. With a light rosy hue and delicate lacy head, the beer’s undeniable sake notes and pearly bubbles make each bite of crudo feel like the first.